Thursday, 28 March 2013

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


On Monday our ship came in, not figuratively but literally.

Last night I spied something very special in the secure warehouses down at the wharf. I am hoping they have cleared customs today and will be in the shops in the morning. Potatoes. There have been no potatoes available for about a month. It's surprising how you can miss something as unremarkable as a potato.

However, all has not been lost. the lack of potatoes has encouraged us to broaden our horizons and we have added the chow-chow to our repertoir.

It is a vine fruit which grows well here but is originally from South America.

The skin is tough and prickly and slimy once peeled,

there is a stone in the middle,

and they make quite good oven chips.

So with a bit of shallow fried, bread-crumbed grouper and wahoo and some peas and sweetcorn you have St Helena fish and chips.



Monday, 25 March 2013

Tall Girl's jewellery party

On Thursday my Tall Girl will be seven. 

So on Saturday we decked the halls with balloons and paper chains and some of her friends joined us for a jewellery party.

The lovely Giselle of G-Unique came and helped the girls make charm bracelets and rings.

They chose their charms and beads then Giselle put them together while the girls played with balloons on a trampoline borrowed from a neighbour.

They were thrilled with the results.

Then they had a birthday tea with a jewellery birthday cake - of course!

Happy Birthday lovely girl.


Friday, 22 March 2013

Friday night frolics

Everyone loves Fridays, but since we have been in St Helena we have developed a lovely Friday night routine which makes it really special.

Giant Baby spends the day with our fabulous child minder and the big Smalls are at school, so after I have picked them all up we head down to Jamestown to the swimming pool.

J finishes work at 4, so by the time I have given everyone a drink and a snack and we are changed he is with us and ready to join in the fun. We all flop in and out of the water, basking in the sun and nattering to friends until we are hungry.

Than we head along the sea front to Donny's Bar and Leo's Planet takeaway for beer and burgers and banter.

We watch the waves and the sunset. All the Smalls form a pack and run wild until they get too sleepy and we scoop them up and pop them in the car; lifting them, sleeping, straight into their beds after the short drive home.

Happy Friday everyone.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Take only pictures and leave only footprints

Once again I have been away too long! Every time I try to streamline life and slow down a bit, things get piled back on. This week we have a last minute announcement from school that the Smalls are to go dressed up as characters from a story or nursery rhym tomorrow. After a little thought we have decided on Angelina Ballerina and Bob the Builder, neither of which should be too taxing. I am also making preparations for Tall Girl's birthday party on Saturday. She will be seven next week!
Today I am going to share a special place with you. I took the Smalls during half term, although Giant Baby and I had visited before...


I have written before about how there are efforts being made to replant many of the endemic plant species in protected parts of the island, and to remove competing plants from those areas. Well this place is known as the Millennium Forest. Since 2000 all sorts of people have planted trees in a scrubby area between the landfill site and the airport-in-progress. Long ago this was the site of the Great Wood which covered the eastern part of the island. The trees are grown from seed and cuttings by the National Trust who manage the site, and are planted by school children, brownies, guides, dignitaries and tourists. One species, the St Helena ebony was thought to be extinct before a single example was discovered clinging to the side of a cliff in a remote and inaccessible part of the island.

Today there are 10,000 plants covering 38 hectares. Eventually the forest will cover 250 hectares.

 You can see the airport site in the background of this picture.

Planting trees isn't the only way you can contribute to the project. A walk through the woods is being developed and the path is lined with footprints. The idea is to raise awareness of our carbon footprint and what we can do to conserve energy.

When Giant Baby and I came before, we made a footprint and this time we went to find it along the path.

Tall Girl and Tiny Boy made their own footprints this time.

Tiny Boy's featured an appl,e orange and pear tree, a rainbow, snake, self portrait and a green flying shark.

Tall Girl's featured an under-the-sea scene with a tree and rainbow.

Once the paint is dry, the footprints are varnished before going out along the path.

Information boards around a nature trail tell you about the project in easily digested snippets,

and you can make your mark by signing the visitors board.

A shining example of what can be done by when limited resources are used with imagination and enthusiasm.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cardboard boxes to cute beads...

Yesterday my neighbour pointed out the obvious and told me that I am doing too much. I am sure she is right but there is so much I want to do! Well, the Gods decided she was definitely right and the exhaust fell off my car last night, giving me an enforced day at home today in which to catch up with some at-home stuff. I made some biscuits with Giant Baby for the school fundraiser on Saturday and finished some bunting for our one and only charity shop. It is an amazing place that I want to tell you about properly another time.
Today's post is all about beads. The pics are mostly of me making them with Tall Girl. They are easy enough for my almost seven year old to make with the smallest amount of help and great fun to whip up whilst nattering or watching TV.
You will need: a cardboard box in colours that appeal to you, pencil, ruler, scissors, barbecue type wooden skewers, pva glue, varnish, ribbon.
Open up your cardboard box and cut off all the flaps and annoying bits. Mark dots at 2cm intervals along two opposite sides. 

Join up the dots to make lots of long thin triangles and cut these out. As you can see we were using a kleenex box. Breakfast cereals and cereal bars also come in attractive coloured boxes.

Use a skewer to soften the strips by pulling the strips over it with the same motion you would use for curling ribbon.

Wind a strip around a skewer as tightly as you can, starting with the wide end.

Glue the end and hold in place until the glue dries.

Make as many beads as you want. The longer the strip, the fatter the bead; the wider the strip, the longer the beads. Experiment - it's fun!

Once the glue is dry, varnish your beads with ordinary wood varnish. It is easiest to leave them on the skewer. When they are completely dry, pick some complimentary ribbon (you will need at least a metre for an adult sized necklace). 
The beads in the following photos are ones I did earlier...

String the beads onto the ribbon, interspersing them with knots until you are happy with how they look.

Wear with pride or give to someone who will appreciate their upcycled beauty.

Happy making.